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Location India, Haryana
Central coordinates 76o 55.00' East  28o 28.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 143 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary and National Park in Gurgaon district of Haryana occupy an area of 13,727 ha as Sanctuary, including a core area of 143 ha as the National Park. We have considered the National Park as an IBA. It is located just off the Gurgaon- Farrukhnagar road, 45 km southwest of Delhi. The Sultanpur Lake forms the core area. This shallow lake is fed by the overflow from neighbouring canals and agricultural fields, and replenished by saline ground water. The Park has seasonal aquatic vegetation and open grasslands, dotted with artificial islands planted with Acacia nilotica. The Park experiences extreme weather conditions. The Sanctuary contains cultivated fields and pastures. There are small areas of Typha and Phragmites around the lakes, and some emergent vegetation within the lakes, particularly in the core area. Extensive marshes covered with sedge, to the north of the main lake, form a mosaic with areas of dry grassland. The natural vegetation of the region is semi-arid scrub, but 78 % of the buffer zone is under cultivation.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: More than 320 species of birds have been recorded from the Park (Harvey 2003). This is a very important wintering ground for waterfowl. In years of adequate rainfall, it has supported over 20,000 individuals of migratory, birds but in the period 2000-03, the total never exceeded 3,000. The transient nature of the ecosystems at Sultanpur probably explains this high percentage of “old” records as much as real scarcity of species. Water levels are a major factor and there have been lean years recently. In 2002, regular winter pumping restored the jheel to its former glory and it is planned to continue with this. When water is inadequate, there is much interchange of birds with the nearby and more reliable wetlands at Basai (8 km east) and Bhindawas (30 km west) (both IBAs), particularly of raptors and larger waterbirds. Other factors for the decline of waterfowl and some other species include the growth in trees to the exclusion of scrub, the thick tall growth of grass when water is shallow or absent and the encroachment of agricultural fields (Harvey 2003). This IBA has a significant waterbird breeding colony, including Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala (50 pairs), Darter Anhinga melanogaster (8 pairs) and Black-headed or Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala (50 pairs), all considered Near Threatened by BirdLife International (2001). The adjoining dry flats are important wintering grounds for several lark and wheatear species, while there are breeding populations of Indian Courser Cursorius coromandelicus, Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus. Recent unusual visitors are Stolizcka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha (in 2001) Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor (in 2002) and the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (in 2003) (Harvey 2003). The Park also qualifies A4i criteria as it regularly holds more than 1% biogeographic populations of some species. For example, Wetlands International (2002) estimates that the non-breeding population of Greylag Goose (subspecies rubrirostris), which breeds in Central Asia and winters in Central and South Asia, is about 15,000. Therefore, its 1% would be 150. Twice this number are seen in Sultanpur.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: There is no large wild mammal of conservation concern in this Park. Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus is the major wild ungulate.

Golden Jackals Canis aureus are still common, although the Park is now surrounded by rapidly growing urban colonies. How long they would survive, it is only a question of time. No information is available on reptile and amphibian fauna.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow Weaver Ploceus megarhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium favourable medium
unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Unknown  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sultanpur National Park 143 is identical to site 143  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Nikhil Devasar, Bill Harvey, Suresh Sharma, members of the Delhibird Club.

References 

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Harvey, B. (2003) Sultanpur Checklist. Unpublished.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbird Population Estimates - Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, the Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sultanpur National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014

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